Performance of laying hens fed diets incorporated with feather-based feed additive




A comprehensive and in-depth understanding of modern industrial poultry production technology is a vital condition for the development of poultry enterprises. Among the factors that determine poultry farming's development, the state and development of the feed base are of paramount importance. One of the promising directions for organizing rational poultry feeding based on self-produced feed is the use of new feed sources in compound feeds that have a multifaceted positive impact on poultry health. This study aimed to determine whether feeding feather meal induces changes in the body weight of laying hens, feed consumption, and egg production. The experiment was conducted on laying hens of the Hy-Line Brown W-36 breed without beak trimming, aged from 21 to 34 weeks at an industrial poultry farm. The chickens were placed in standard cages arranged in 6 tiers (with eight chickens per cage) and were distributed into five randomized groups. Four diets were formulated with the inclusion of feather-based feed additives in the base diet at levels of 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, or 3.5 kg per ton, while the control group was maintained on the standard diet. Research results using feather meal as part of the compound feed for laying hens have revealed that the inclusion of this additive had a positive impact on the live weight dynamics of Hy-Line Brown laying hens. Positive trends in absolute live weight gains were observed in the experimental groups compared to the control group, with EG1 showing an increase of 56.78 g (4.8%), EG2 with 43.66 g (3.7%), EG3 with 33.26 g (2.8%), and EG4 with 25.75 g (2.1%). The highest retention rate of laying hens was recorded in the first (EG 1) and second (EG 2) experimental groups: 98.9% and 97.9% respectively. The difference in retention between the first experimental group and the control group was 4.1%, while between the second experimental and control groups, it was 3.1%. The feather meal feed additive is an effective protein supplement, and research has revealed its positive influence on live weight gains and the survival of laying hens. The most effective level is 2 kg per ton of compound feed, which can be explained by the data observed in EG1.


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